Children’s Mental Health Matters every week

November 2022

Hello, Since Covid gave us the great pause, it allowed me to re-evaluate my classes and I decided to focus on helping schools bring yoga into the school day. In the last three years the likelihood of young people having mental health problems has increased by 50%. The 6th February 2023 is Children’s mental health week, this will mean a lot of schools will focus on your children’s mental health that week, they may talk about mental health, mindfulness, your children might even be lucky enough to have some yoga lessons (hopefully with a qualified yoga teacher) or your school may just stick on some Cosmic Kids yoga on YouTube to tick a box!!. Whatever they do, it’s great, a brilliant thing to be aware of but one week of “tackling” the issue isn’t going to solve the mental health crisis we currently have in the UK.

Now, five children in a classroom of 30 are likely to have a mental health problem.

The Children’s Society.

52% of 17 to 23 year olds have experienced a deterioration in mental health in the last five years.

50% of all mental health problems start by the age of 14

The Children’s Society

This has led to the number of children referred for specialist support increasing 134% from 2019/20 to 2020/21. With children on ever lengthening waiting lists to get support, early intervention is even more important, we should not wait for children to develop poor mental health we should give children the tools that will help them cope with when life gets a bit tough now. Children are among our most vulnerable citizens and we must do everything we can to support their well-being.

Yoga gives children a toolbox that they can use throughout their life not just in a yoga class. Yoga has undergone thousands of studies and it has been shown that yoga can help reduce stress & anxiety. It can help children learn to self-regulate their emotions. It encourages focus, improves concentration, coordination & balance. The physical side of yoga will strengthen the body & the stretching of the muscle’s releases Serotonin which is the chemical which helps to improve our mood – the Happy Chemical. For those children who do not engage with sport, the non-competitive element to yoga is very popular and allows children to work at their own pace, learning to become body aware as well as encouraging positive body image and a healthy lifestyle. Yoga teaches everyone to be kind, to be compassionate and to respect each other. It encourages children to be resilient and have a growth mindset.

The original goal of yoga was to provide a guide for happiness, wholeness & wellbeing.

Feuerstein 2003/ Research paper on Yoga for children with anxiety.

I am part of a movement of yoga teachers who would like to see yoga added to the school curriculum so all children can benefit from classes and that the school has a whole school approach to supporting their pupil’s mental health. We are here, we are qualified, we are experienced – let us help!

CALL TO ACTION – I encourage you to go to your school, usually the SENCO is the best placed person to approach – tell then that you think it’s a good idea. You could research children’s yoga teachers near you to pass on their information to save the school time (I do recommend someone who has taken a Children’s Yoga teaching certification from a health & safety element plus we are already DBS checked & insured to teach this age group).

Yoga can be used as PE lesson (Sports funding can be used), PSHE (Wellbeing funding), or as PPA time (Teachers planning time). Yes, school budgets are tight, but I have state schools that I teach at – I teach the whole school in two 6 week blocks twice a year – they see the benefit, they have the budget!

Yoga is OFSTED approved ūüôā – In one setting it was noted in their Ofsted report that “funding was well spent on weekly yoga classes for the children”.

Independent schools – I was very happy to provide regular yoga classes that helped one of my schools get shortlisted for the Pastoral Care and Wellbeing award.

Email me on hayley@namastekids.co.uk if you have any questions or you would like help finding a local children’s yoga teacher. #yogaineveryschool.

New Term….

Welcome to September, back to school and back to yoga.
September can be a stressful time for children, starting new schools or going into a new class with a brand new teacher so why not try a little yoga to help keep them calm. We have a new term starting week 11th Sept and as well as having tons of fun in class I do teach them handy tips for calming anxiety and helping them to relax. Here are a couple of things you can remind your yogis to do:

1. Belly Breathing – hands on tummy and breathe in slowly through the nose sending the air down into the tummy – they feel their tummy push against their hands and then slowly breathe back out through the nose and the tummy goes back down. Once the get the sensation of the air filling the tummy they won’t need to use their hands and they can do tummy breathing anytime & anywhere they feel anxious, worried or tense.

2. Mini Meditation – to calm the mind and help improve concentration. If they can sit cross legs on the floor then great but if they can’t it can be done on a chair. Close the eyes if able, if not focus on something in their eye line but look through it rather than at it. Then focus on touching each finger to the thumb while saying the magic mediation words – Peace begins with me – in class we say this out loud but if they are in a classroom they can just say it in their head at least 5/6 times. As the mind is concentrating on the fingers and the words it gives the brain a chance to settle and the crazy monkey mind stops jumping from thought to thought.

For more help and ideas why not book your child in for a FREE trial class.
Mondays 0930 for Child & Parent 2-5yrs Sutton Valance
Tuesdays 1600 for Kids 5-10yrs Benenden Village Hall
E:mail Hayley@namastekids.co.uk

Family Yoga – success!

Thank you to all that came along to Family Yoga held on 19th June. It was a fun & lively session and great to see so many new faces and lots of my current yogis with their parents. We did yoga together to raise money for little Eliana from Staplehurst who needs a life changing operation unavailable on the NHS Рdetails of the charity can be found on this website Р http://www.elianaswishtorun.co.uk/

I am pleased to say we managed to raise £720 this amount includes some kind donations from people unable to come along to the session.

We currently have three ways you can donate if you would like to:

Just4children is a registered charity in the UK which helps individual families wih sick and disabled children raise money for life-changing treatment. UK taxpayers can boost donations with gift aid. http://just4children.org/children-helped-2016/elianas-wish-to-run/

 Registered charity in England and Wales РNumber: 1164473 /Registered in Scotland: SCO46157

 TEXT ELIA01 £5 or ELIA01 £10 to 70070 

Go Fund Me is a crowd funding platform –¬†https://www.gofundme.com/uercqy4k

Thank you to Benenden Village Hall who kindly donated the hall for free and to the following companies for donating prizes for a raffle – Turning Headz Hairdressers, Alfie & Daisy Toy Shop Cranbrook, Spice in Cranbrook, Maisie K in Cranbrook, Tescos in Tenterden, The Redmanye Family & My children.

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First ever blog…welcome…

Welcome Yogi’s to my new improved website and my first ever blog. I will be keeping you updated with lots of kid’s yoga information, advice and fun poses to do at home as well as news on classes and what your little yogi’s are getting up to.

NEWS: Sunday 19th June FAMILY YOGA¬†10am Benenden Village Hall¬†‚Äď I am holding a family yoga session so bring along the¬†sisters, brothers,¬†Dad, Mum, Nanny‚Äôs….everybody is welcome and we will¬†have a fun¬†yoga¬†class together. I will be asking for donations (a suggestion being ¬£10 per family but anything you can give is welcome) and every penny will be donated to http://www.elianaswishtorun.co.uk/¬†charity.

Eliana is a gorgeous 2 year old from Staplehurst who needs a life changing operation so as she grows she will be able to run & play with her friends unfortunately this op is not available on the NHS so her family are trying to raise the funds to give Eliana the best chance to fulfil her potential.

Booking is recommended but not essential, come along and after all your hard work you will be rewarded with free refreshments.

CLASS INFO: Week 28th May is half term so Namaste Kids is closed for 1 week and classes will restart Monday 4th June.

UPDATES: Namaste Teens -My training course is all booked for August so I will be starting a class in September, if anyone has any suggestions what times & places would work for their teen please do let me know by emailing info@namastekids.co.uk